Happy Labor Day 2014

Did you know that Oregon was the first state to recognize Labor Day?

Some of the about 150 trade unionists and their families did as they celebrated the day at the annual Lane County Central Labor Council picnic.

PNLHA banner with AFL-CIO

All photos by Leola Jewett-Verzuh

The picnic is an opportunity to share Labor Day stories, present three awards for trade union activities and accomplishments, and hear from local politicians.

Mayor Kitty and council members

Mayor Kitty Piercy and council members announce sick leave ordinance

This year Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy and some of her council proudly announced that they had secured sick leave for workers in the Emerald City. A major victory, the new city ordinance, which goes into effect on July 1, 2015, ensures that “everyone working within the Eugene city limits to accrue paid sick time at work.” For more, http://www.eugene-or.gov/sickleave.

Ron hands out pnlha leaflets

Oregon VP Ron Verzuh hands out PNLHA membership leaflets.

PNLHA was at the picnic flying its banner and handing out information leaflets to about 60 people in a collaborative membership drive with the Labor and Working-Class History Association (LAWCHA).

Meanwhile, in Portland, PNLHA trustee Lane Poncy, co-host of the labor show on KBOO radio, noticed a display in her local library celebrating Labor Day. If you have photos of Labor Day events in your area, please send them to rverzuh@shaw.ca.

Bob B talks to woman in wheelchair

Oregon trustee Bob Bussel speaks with one of the picnic crowd.

For more on the day’s history in Canada: Craig Heron, The Workers’ Festival: A History of Labour Day in Canada (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005) and in the U.S. see a critical discussion about the day at http://portside.org/2014-08-29/labor-day-bill-fletcher-maynard-seider.

Lane's library on Labor Day

Library in Portland celebrates Labor Day.

For a graphic look at the other labor day, see Robin Folvik, Mark Leier and Sean Carleton, May Day: A Graphic History of Protest (Toronto: Between the Lines, 2012).






For more on workplace sick leave: http://cdn.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/issues/2012/08/pdf/paidsickdays_factsheet.pdf